I felt a little nervous meeting a "hero in the faith." A bit awed.
You know, like maybe I should make sure to keep a bit of distance so she would have enough room to float-walk above the ground, or maybe I should just never open my mouth in case I reveal how unspiritual I am.
But the truth is, Mrs Gladys Staines is lovely.
I actually got to spend the whole day with her when we did the first pre-screening of the THE LEAST OF THESE: THE GRAHAM STAINES STORY on the Sunshine Coast. And you know what? Being around her didn't make me feel less. She didn't make me feel like I should be better, like I'm getting behind with faith things and that's disappointing—the way we sometimes think God feels about us, right?
No. Mrs Gladys Staines made me feel normal, somehow. Like I didn't have to pretend, and I didn't have to improve, to be in her company. Like she was really pleased to be around me, just the way I was.
And I had a little revelation about that, and about Jesus. Because he was like that, it seems. People wanted to be near him. They felt comfortable enough to say dumb things and wipe his feet with their hair. He was irresistible, in a sense. He made people feel like it was okay to just be who they were, and be where they were at.
And so it would seem, that "having great faith," actually means you have become more like Jesus. And becoming more like Jesus means your company is irresistible and you are more comfortable to be around.
It makes you relax, it gives others the peace to enjoy small moments of pleasure and laugh out loud at funny things. It makes people feel like they belong, and they'll always belong, no matter what.
So thank you, Mrs Staines. For teaching me about Jesus, without even trying, and without even saying one word about it.
I think that's "great" too.
THE LEAST OF THESE is still in cinemas. Go to www.theleastofthesemovie.com.au for tickets and cinemas.